It is necessary to euthanize butterflies and moths immediately after they are collected to ensure that the delicate parts of their bodies, including wings and antennae, are not damaged trying to escape.
The standard method for displaying insects is mounting the animal on an insect pin. Pinning insects is one of the basic skills needed to create an insect collection.
Spreading moths & butterflies
Butterflies and moths have unique patterns on both forewings and hind wings, so it is essential to properly pin these specimens so the patterns on the wings can be seen easily.
Preserving insects in alcohol
This video demonstrates how to use alcohol to preserve insects, including caterpillars, damselfly nymphs, cave crickets, beetle larvae, crustaceans, spiders, centipedes, millipedes, and other arachnids.
Storing & rehydrating insects
This video demonstrates how to properly store specimens.
Labeling insects is the most important part of setting up an insect collection, because specimens are useless for research if they do not have proper labels indicating where and when they were collected.
Making slide mounts
This video demonstrates the use of slides for mounting very small arthropod specimens, including springtails and mites.
Aerial & sweep netting
This video demonstrates the use of aerial and sweep nets, which are used to actively collect insects.
Trapping flying insects using a malaise trap, a tent-like structure, is demonstrated.
The use of pitfall traps to collect ground-dwelling arthropods is demonstrated in this video. Pitfall trap design and construction instructions accompany the video.
Video accessibility instructions
These video instructions are located directly above a YouTube video. Hit the DOWN arrow key until you hear the words FLASH START. Once the screen reader is inside the FLASH OBJECT, hit the TAB key about 7 times until you hear PLAY BUTTON a second time. Hit the Spacebar key to play the video. You can then hit the Spacebar key again to pause the video. Feel free to hit TAB and TAB+SHIFT to listen to all the buttons in the FLASH OBJECT. Sometimes the PLAY button and the PAUSE button will be listed as an UNLABLED BUTTON.